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Google Unleashes Google Sites Publishing Tool

Google unveils new website publishing tools for office workers.

The new Google Sites publishing tool will assist office workers setup simple websites which takes direct aim at Microsoft’s rival SharePoint franchise.

Google Sites, known as the new simple website publishing tool, is a scaled back version of JotSpot, a simple service for business organizations and webmasters to set up and edit sites that Google acquired 16 months ago.

The new publishing service is the latest push into the market for business and educational users, actively allowing novice users to organize content and share data such as Web links, calendars, photos, videos, presentations and widgets.

“Creating a team website has always been too complicated, requiring dedicated hardware and software as well as programming skills,” Dave Girouard, general manager of Google’s Enterprise unit said.

The new tool is actually a smaller, non-complex, version of Microsoft’s SharePoint software, which lets users inside an organization that share documents and maintain calendars on secure websites.

Unlike SharePoint, which can typically run costs from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars, Google Sites is hosted on Google computers and is free to users of Google Apps.

Basic sites are free or carry a small monthly per-user fee, depending on whether organisations have purchased fuller-featured versions of Google Apps that provide for centralized technical management.

Google Apps offers a suite of word-processing, spreadsheet and presentation software that let groups of users edit and view documents over the Web, together with e-mail and basic personal Web site migrations.

The new Google publishing tool enables any user invited to join a site to edit pages without requiring knowledge of Web coding or design. Published information to the site is searchable by vistitors.